If you have purchased or are thinking of purchasing a timeshare in Maine, or are facing a timeshare foreclosure, it’s important to learn the answers to the following questions:
- What disclosures are required in a Maine timeshare purchase?
- How do I cancel a timeshare purchase in Maine?
- If I stop making payments, what is the timeshare foreclosure procedure?
- Will I be liable for a deficiency judgment after the foreclosure?
Read on to learn about a few of the important features of Maine timeshare law.
(Be sure to check out Nolo’s Buying or Selling a Timeshare and Timeshare Foreclosures topic areas where you can find information about selling or donating your timeshare, timeshare foreclosures, options to avoid a timeshare foreclosure, and consequences of a timeshare foreclosure.)
Required Written Disclosure
Prior to the conveyance of the timeshare or the signing of the purchase agreement, the timeshare developer must provide a timeshare purchaser with a written statement containing the following information (among other things):
- a general description of the timeshare property and the timeshare units
- any initial or special fee due from the purchaser at or before closing (including a description of the purpose of the fee and method of its calculation)
- any current or expected fees or charges to be paid by timeshare owners for the use of the common facilities
- information about the right to cancel the purchase
- the projected common expense assessment for each timeshare and whether those assessments may vary seasonally
- the extent to which the timeshare owners of a unit are jointly and severally liable for the payment of real estate taxes (and all assessments and other charges levied against that unit), and
- the extent to which a timeshare unit may become subject to a tax or other lien arising out of claims against other timeshare owners of the same timeshare unit (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 592(1)).
Cancelling a Timeshare Purchase in Maine
In Maine, you may cancel a timeshare purchase within ten calendar days following:
- the date you signed the contract (or the date of conveyance), or
- the date you received the written statement described in the previous section, whichever occurs later (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 592(3)).
How to cancel the purchase. If you elect to cancel, you may do so by:
- hand delivering a notice of cancellation, or
- mailing the notice by prepaid United States mail to the developer (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 592(3)).
The developer must promptly refund any deposit in its entirety (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 592(1)(B)(10)(b)).
(Learn more about cancelling a timeshare purchase in Nolo’s article How Do I Cancel a Timeshare Contract?)
Timeshare Foreclosure Procedure
If you take out a loan to purchase an interest in a timeshare and fail to make your timeshare mortgage payments or keep up with the assessments, you will likely face foreclosure. (In addition to monthly mortgage payments, timeshare owners are ordinarily responsible for maintenance fees, special assessments, utilities, and taxes, collectively referred to as “assessments.” Find out more in Nolo’s article Can a Timeshare Be Foreclosed for Nonpayment of Fees or Assessments?)
In Maine, residential foreclosures are judicial, but state law provides for the nonjudicial foreclosure of mortgages and assessment liens when it comes to timeshare properties (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595 (1)).
(To learn more about the difference between judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure, and the procedures for each, visit Nolo's Judicial v. Nonjudicial Foreclosure page.)
Notice of Default
Upon default, the foreclosing party must provide written notice of the default to the timeshare owner at the owner's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first class mail. The notice must provide at least 30 days from the date of the mailing of the notice to cure the default (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595 (1)(A)).
Notice of Sale – Publication and Mailing Requirements
If the timeshare owner does not cure the default by the end of the 30-day cure period, the foreclosing party will publish notice of the sale once for three successive weeks in a newspaper with a general circulation in the town in which the timeshare property is situated. The first publication must be no later than 30 days before the date of the sale, calculated by excluding the date of publication of the first notice and the date of sale (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595 (1)(B)(1)(a)).
A written notice of the time, date, and place of the foreclosure auction must be mailed to the last known address of the timeshare owner of record by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first class mail at least 30 days prior to the date of sale (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595 (1)(B)(1)(b)).
Timeshare Foreclosure Sale
The foreclosure sale must:
- take place on the timeshare property or some other location within the same town as the timeshare property, and
- be by public auction (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595 (1)(B)(2)(a) and (b)).
Timeshare Deficiency Judgments
When a lender forecloses on a mortgage, the total debt owed by the borrowers to the lender can exceed the foreclosure sale price. The difference between the sale price and the total debt is called a deficiency.
Example. Say the total debt owed for a timeshare is $15,000, but it only sells for $10,000 at the foreclosure sale. The deficiency is $5,000.
Whether or not you face a deficiency judgment after a timeshare foreclosure depends on state law. Maine law does not permit a deficiency judgment if the timeshare foreclosure is nonjudicial (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 33 § 595(4)).
(To learn more about deficiency judgments, see our Deficiency Judgments After Foreclosure area.)
Maine Timeshare Laws
To find the Maine Revised statutes, go to www.maine.gov/legis and click on “Statutes.” The statutes governing timeshares are found in Title 33 (Property), Chapter 10-A (Time Shares).
(For general articles on foreclosure in Maine, visit our Maine Foreclosure Law Center.)